Microsoft Enters Chinese Market With 19 Percent Stake In Joint Venture

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Microsoft has catapulted its way over the Great Wall into China.

On Wednesday, the software giant announced that it has signed its first shareholder agreement in China to set up a joint venture called Zhongguancun Software in conjunction with Beijing Centergate Technologies (CenTek) and Stone Group. The joint venture, Microsoft's first software investment in the Chinese market, will develop enterprise and government .Net software applications and industry solutions for Chinese and overseas markets.

This will be the first software company in China that Microsoft has invested in, and the new company's application-development platform will be based on the .Net platform. Microsoft has a 19 percent stake in the venture, which has $12 million in funds. CenTek and Stone Group have shares accounting for 51 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

The new joint venture, which is the first large software company in the area, will be based in Zhongguancun Software Park. Microsoft will be announcing a CTO for the joint venture in the near future. In recent years, Linux--a competitor to Microsoft's platforms--has made solid headway into the Chinese market.

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